ATTORNEY, [a. OF. atorne, aturne, atourne, pa. ppie. masc. of atourner to Attorn, in sense of ‘one appointed or one constituted,’ whence all the specific uses. (The statement found in the law dictionaries for the last 200 years, that the word means ‘one who acts in the turn of another’ is a bad guess.) For spelling cf. Attorn.] 1. One appointed or ordained to act for another; an agent, deputy, commissioner. In later times only fig. and perhaps with conscious reference to sense 2. obs. 2. (Attorney in fact, private attorney.) One duly appointed or constituted (by Letter or Power of Attorney) to act for another in business and legal matters, either generally, as in payment, receipt, and investment of money, in suing and being sued, etc., or in some specific act, which the principal, by reason of absence, is unable to perform in person. Hence the contrast in ‘in person’ and ‘by attorney,’ frequent also in fig. senses. 3. (Attorney-at-Law, public attorney) A professional and properly- qualified legal agent practicing in the courts of Common Law (as a solicitor practiced in the courts of Equity); one who conducted litigation in these courts, preparing the case for barristers or counsel, whose duty and privilege it is to plead and argue in open court. 4. Transf. An advocate, pleader, mediator. 5. Specific title of the law officer of various councils, etc., and the clerk of various courts. 6. The King’s Attorney, (earlier) descriptive designation of the legal officer now called Attorney-General. Mr. Attorney, the ‘style’ used in addressing (formerly also in speaking of) him. 7. attrib., as in attorney-cunning, etc. OED. See “The Truth About Esquires” in Part I of this manual; also attorney & client.

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